Johnson County Precinct 4 Commissioner Larry Woolley hopes to secure his second consecutive term on the commissioners court and will compete against former Johnson County Republican Party Chairman David Kercheval in the March 6 Republican Primary. The filing period runs through Monday but, as of Wednesday, no other candidates, Republican or Democrat, had filed for the seat.
“I think in my first term I’ve brought skills and tools to the court that didn’t exist before,” Woolley said when asked why he chose to seek re-election. “My background in real estate have been helpful, for example, in that I was able to work with the county attorney and a brokerage firm to get several unused county properties sold and back on the tax rolls.
“I believe I’ve been an asset to the court. Being a commissioner is an awesome responsibility and one I don’t take lightly but I’ve enjoyed this job and it’s been a pleasure to be able to help folks in Precinct 4 and the county and to be able to work with a great bunch of people.”
Woolley, 59, said, with the support of the voters, he hopes to continue representing the precinct and play a role in county projects underway or upcoming.
“I still have goals I’d like to address,” Woolley said. “We’re approaching an exciting time for Johnson County and I look forward to being part of and playing a role in that.”
Experience plays a role as well, Woolley said.
“I have a bachelor’s degree from Tarleton State University and a master’s in school and public administration from Sam Houston State [University],” Woolley said. “And I have 30 years of experience in public education, real estate and running auctions during which time I’ve worked with a lot of people around the county and established a lot of relationships.
“Since being elected to the court I’ve established additional relationships with other elected officials, [Texas Department of Transportation] officials, our state representative and senator and other officials throughout the county and the cities. Those relationships are very important to cultivate and they take time to establish I’ve found.”
Woolley listed four main goals of focus should he win re-election.
“We’re in a big-time growth pattern and it’s important that we take steps to plan that growth in a pattern that protects the environment and our citizens,” Woolley said.
Woolley cited subdivision rule changes he played a role in addressing the spacing of water wells so as not to overtax groundwater supplies and steps taken to block an application for a proposed slaughterhouse in Woolley’s precinct.
Public safety is another important issue, Woolley said, one that needs to be monitored as the county grows to ensure law enforcement and rescue workers have the resources to keep residents safe.
“I’ll also continue to work to maintain low taxes,” Woolley said. “We’re in the bottom 25 percent in the state in terms of county tax rates, which is admirable given that in 2008 25 percent of revenues derived from oil and gas royalties, a number that’s since decreased to about 3 percent. We’ve seen a lot of growth and more is on the way. The balance for now is that those new improvements in values have not yet offset that decline in mineral values but they should in the coming years.”
Maintenance of county roads presents a challenge and another huge focus, he said.
“Continue to improve our road maintenance program and continue to address problem areas from the gas drilling days and the flooding and weather events from 2015 that affected culverts and low-water crossing areas.”
Woolley and his wife, Leslie Woolley, attend First United Methodist Church in Grandview. They have two daughters, Landi Campbell and Loni Lucherk.
Woolley and his family have a long history of involvement with Johnson County 4-H youth programs, including coaching and judging. Woolley said he sees great value in youth being involved in such programs and through them becoming involved in their community, growing into future leaders.
“I do thorough research to be well informed and to base my decisions on conservative values, which is what I think the people of Precinct 4 want,” Woolley said when asked why voters should support him. “I’d also just encourage voters to look at my record. I think I bring something positive to the table and have proven to be a valuable leader on the court.”